In the early days of Halestorm, the group featured an important extra member in addition to bandmates and siblings Lizzy and Arejay Hale: their dad, Roger Hale. The band spoke about their early days and what it was like to play with their father during a visit to Rolling Stone‘s offices.
“If you look up anything on YouTube, I had great ideas for choreography,” Lzzy Hale reveals of the band’s earliest shows. In the late Nineties, the then-teenagers would not only put on more interpretive performances of their songs but also recruited their dad to take on bass duties. “When you’re 13, Dad’s still cool, and then as soon as you hit 14, 15, it’s like, ‘Dad, we’re gonna look for people our own age now,'” Hale admits.
“But it was kind of cool to boss around our parents,” Arejay adds.
The Hale patriarch stayed in the band until 2004 when Josh Smith took over on bass and rounded out the quartet, which had just added Joe Hottinger on lead guitar a year earlier. More than a decade later, Halestorm are still going strong and released their third album, Into the Wild Life, last April. Still, the stage is where they shine the most. “We had over a thousand shows under our belt before we signed a record deal,” Hottinger says. “It’s what we’ve always done: play shows and try to make moments on stage. It’s not work; it’s just fun.”
One important aspect of keeping the band thriving is the fans, especially the young girls who look up to Lzzy Hale as their biggest hard-rock influence. “It’s really neat to be that person for them,” the singer and guitarist reveals. “We’re living proof that you can do absolutely anything you want in life as long as you keep doing it and don’t give up.”